What Is The Double Bounce Rule In Pickleball 2023

If you’re new to the world of pickleball, you may have heard of the Two-Bounce Rule. It’s a fundamental rule that every beginner should know and understand before stepping onto the court. But have you ever heard of the Double Bounce rule? 

It’s not the same as the Two-Bounce Rule, and many people confuse the two. As a pickleball player, my article will provide a clear explanation of the Double Bounce rule in pickleball and how it differs from the Two-Bounce Rule. 

By understanding this rule, readers can avoid committing faults during gameplay and improve their overall performance. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, this article will provide valuable information to help you succeed in the game of pickleball.

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What Is The Double Bounce Rule In Pickleball?

The Double Bounce Rule in pickleball refers to the requirement that each side must make one groundstroke before volleying the ball. 

This rule is considered fundamental and essential for beginners to understand. Both teams must play their first shot off of the bounce for each point played, and the receiving team must let the ball hit the ground on the serve, while the serving team must let the return bounce before hitting it. Once the ball has bounced twice, it can be volleyed or played off the bounce.

What’s the Difference between Two-Bounce and Double-Bounce?

The terms two-bounce rule and double-bounce rule are used in the sport of pickleball. They are both rules that involve the number 2, but they have different definitions. 

In this explanation, I will discuss the difference between these two rules and their importance in the game of pickleball.

Two-Bounce Rule:

The two-bounce rule, also known as fault rule 7.A., requires the ball to bounce once on each side of the court before either team can hit the ball from the air. 

Two-Bounce Rule

This rule prevents serving and volleying in the first two hits, making it an essential part of the game. After the ball is served, each side must make one groundstroke prior to volleying the ball.

Double-Bounce Rule:

The double-bounce rule, classified under section 7.E. of the rule book, occurs when the ball bounces twice on one side before being hit back to the other side. 

It is a fault, and the ball is considered dead. This rule applies to every point played in pickleball and is common in racquet and paddle sports.

Historical Naming:

Before 2018, the two-bounce rule was called the double-bounce rule, leading to confusion between the two.

However, the wording in the 2018 version of the official pickleball rule book now refers to the rule as the “Two-Bounce Rule” rather than the “Double Bounce Rule.” Even with the rebranding, confusion still exists, especially among new players.


The two-bounce rule is essential for beginners to understand because it removes any advantages of serving and volleying. 

The receiving team must let the ball hit the ground on the serve, and the serving team must let the return bounce before hitting it. After the two bounces, the ball can be volleyed or played off the bounce.

Why Does the Double Bounce Rule Exist?

The double bounce rule can be confusing for beginners, and those coming from other racquet sports may find it challenging at first. 

The rule goes against what players have learned in other sports, making it difficult to adjust to initially. However, it exists for a good reason – to allow for longer rallies in the game.

Pickleball is unique in that it has a double bounce rule, which means the ball must bounce twice before players can start volleying. This is unlike ping-pong and tennis, which do not have a double bounce rule. 

The double bounce rule ensures a fairer game for all players by preventing the serving team from immediately crashing the net after the serve, which would put them in an advantageous position. 

This advantage is especially pronounced if the server has a strong serve that results in weak returns. In contrast, tennis and most other racquet sports allow the serving team to crash the net after the serve.

The double bounce rule is one of the defining features of pickleball that sets it apart from other racquet sports. The rule promotes a more level playing field and prevents one team from dominating the game. 

Without the double bounce rule, games could end too quickly and be less enjoyable for all players. Despite its initial challenges, players often come to appreciate the double bounce rule and enjoy the longer rallies it allows for. 

While the true origins of the double bounce rule are unknown, it remains an essential part of the game of pickleball.

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Why Does The Two-Bounce Rule Exist In Pickleball?

One of the unique features of pickleball is the Two-Bounce Rule, which requires that the ball must bounce at least once on each side of the net before it can be volleyed. 

Why Does The Two-Bounce Rule Exist In Pickleball

Now, I will explore why this rule exists and why it is crucial to the game of pickleball.

The Purpose of the Two-Bounce Rule

The Two-Bounce Rule exists to make the game fairer for both the serving and returning sides. The rule eliminates the serve and volley advantage and facilitates longer extended rallies. 

The Purpose of the Two-Bounce Rule

Without this rule, the game would be dominated by the serving team, and rallies would be shorter, ending on the serve return or third shot. This would remove one of the most exciting and defining features of pickleball – dink rallies.

Preventing Serve and Volley Advantage

The Two-Bounce Rule prevents volleying on the third shot as an advantage. Since serving is the only way to earn points, the rule prevents the serving team from taking advantage of their position. 

Likewise, the receiving team cannot volley return the serve, which would give them an unfair advantage. This rule ensures that both sides have an equal opportunity to win points.

Facilitating Longer Rallies

One of the reasons pickleball is so much fun to play is the long, exciting rallies that can develop. The Two-Bounce Rule encourages longer rallies by preventing one side from dominating the game. 

The rule helps maintain balance in the game and prevents one player from being too aggressive and dominating the game. This rule is essential for keeping the game fair and enjoyable.

Preventing Quick Points

Without the Two-Bounce Rule, players could end up winning points too quickly, which would make the game less exciting. The rule encourages longer rallies, which in turn makes the game more fun and challenging. 

It also ensures that both sides have an equal opportunity to win points, which makes the game fairer.

No-Bounce and 1-Bounce Rule Scenarios

To understand why the Two-Bounce Rule is so crucial, let’s consider two hypothetical scenarios. If a No-Bounce Rule existed, the receiving team could wait for the serve at the kitchen line and smash it mid-air back at the serving team. 

This would make it impossible for the serving team to return the ball. If a 1-Bounce Rule existed, the receiving team could return the ball right to the serving team at the kitchen, and they could immediately smash it over the net as a volley. 

This would make it easy for the receiving team to return the ball and give them an unfair advantage.

Confusion about Bounce Sequence

One question that many people are confused about is where the ball is allowed to bounce during the two-bounce sequence. The ball must bounce at least once on each side of the net before it can be volleyed. 

This means that the ball can bounce twice on the serving side before being hit, as long as it bounces once on the receiving side. Similarly, the ball can bounce twice on the receiving side before being hit, as long as it bounces once on the serving side.

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Easy Example of Double Bounce Rule

Pickleball is a thrilling game where two teams compete against each other. In this game, the double-bounce rule is a crucial rule that needs to be followed to keep the game fair for all players. 

Let me explain how this rule works using the example of two teams named Green and Blue.

To begin the game, the teams toss a coin, and the team that wins gets to serve first. The server from the winning team stands behind the baseline and announces the score before serving. 

The server must use an underhand stroke with a below the waist contact point to serve the ball. The ball must land in the diagonal court of the receiving team.

Easy Example of Double Bounce Rule

When the receiving player from the Blue team receives the serve, they must let the ball bounce once before returning it. A deep return is an excellent strategy in pickleball. 

However, the player on the Green team must allow the ball to bounce twice before making contact with it. This is the double-bounce rule, and it ensures that both teams have an equal opportunity to play the ball.

When both teams have a back and forth exchange, a rally or point occurs. However, only the serving team can score a point. If the serving team loses the point, a sideout occurs, and the right to start the point with a serve transfers to the opposing team. 

This is where the first server exception comes into play. During the team’s first turn to serve, only one player can serve. After that, each player on the team gets the opportunity to serve, and the server announces the score before serving on each turn.

The game continues until a team scores 11 points with a 2-point lead. A sideout alternates the sides of the court after each point. The double-bounce rule applies to the return of serve and subsequent shots. The winner of the game is the team that scores 11 points with a 2-point lead.

Tips For Beginners To Master The Double Bounce Rule

Now, I will discuss some tips for beginners to master the double bounce rule in pickleball.

Standing Behind the Baseline

The first and easiest way to remember the double bounce rule is to start by standing behind the baseline when you expect the serve from the serving team. Standing several feet behind the baseline may be necessary if the server routinely hits their serve deep. 

Standing Behind the Baseline

When you stand towards the back of the court, you will be less tempted to take the ball before the bounce because it would be quite tough to do so from that position.

Advancing Towards the Net

After hitting the return of serve (which you only hit after the bounce), you’ll want to advance towards the net immediately to gain a strategic advantage in the point. This strategy can also help you to put pressure on your opponent and force them to make mistakes.

Staying Behind the Baseline

Once you serve, you’ll want to stay back behind the baseline to enable the ball to bounce in front of you, even if it’s well hit and deep, once it is returned by the receiver. 

This means you don’t want to advance into the court because you risk getting caught in a bad spot if they are able to hit the return near the baseline, which would be behind you at that point. Dealing with a bounce behind you is very problematic, and chances are you won’t make that shot.

Doubles Game Tips

In a doubles game, both players on the serving team will start behind the baseline to accommodate for the second bounce of the two-bounce rule. 

The server and the server’s partner should both help to remind the server’s partner to start the point from behind the baseline since they are more susceptible to getting caught by the rule than the server.

The receiver’s partner can start up at the non-volley zone line and is the only player on the court that can take their first shot in the point as a volley since they will only be able to hit the 4th shot of the point as their first shot in the point. They should capitalize on this by starting up in the court at the very start of the point.

Be Careful with the Two-Bounce Rule

The two-bounce rule is more likely to be a problem for the serving team than it is for the returning team because the serving team is responsible for the second bounce, so they can’t be as aggressive in the point as they may like to be until the 5th shot. 

The serving team is more likely to have a problem with the two-bounce rule, so they need to be careful and follow the rules closely.

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Michael Stevenson

Michael Stevenson

Hi, my name is Michael Stevenson and I’m a passionate pickleball player. I’ve been playing the game for many years and I’m pretty highly skilled at it. Pickleball is one of my favorite topics so naturally, I love to write about it.

Whether it’s tips for beginners, guides for experts, reviews of new paddles, or advanced playing techniques – if it relates to pickleball then I have something interesting to write about it. So if you’re looking for entertaining and informative information on the topic of pickleball, look no further than my written works!